Celebrate Your Graduate!

By Emily Erfman

Spring is almost here! This means graduation parties and spending time outdoors. My boys are nowhere near graduation, but my girlfriend is planning one heck of a bash for her daughter Jordyn, and really wants to make it special. I can’t wait to pitch in.

I love that most professional photographers now give you an image CD allowing you the flexibility to have fun with your pictures. Jordyn has tons of great images that I can use to showcase her achievements and celebrate her special day with custom invitations and other photo-centric essentials.

As the mother of two boys, I’m a little nutty about lists. But in my world, all great events start with a list.

CardThe Invitation

To get our entire guest list to the party, we need an invitation. Remember, there are lots of parties this time of year, so get your invites out early. Three weeks is standard, but not the rule.

Choosing a card design that fits Jordyn’s personality is crucial. She picked a style that looks great with her favorite photograph. Jordyn helped me design the invitation using her favorite colors, fonts and fun vernacular – things like #LOL. (Don’t try this on your own)

What is a Grad Pad?

I advised my friend to order some Grad Pads, custom 4”x5” or 6″x6″, 48-sheet notepads to hand out to friends. This is an easy, inexpensive option for young people.BookYes, you need a Guestbook

With so many guests, it can be difficult to speak to – let alone remember – everyone who attended your party. A photo guest book is a great keepsake and a great place to show off favorite photos, old and new – including images from your phone. (See my Q&A later this week on the blog to learn how to get images off your phone for sharing)

When designing your guestbook, leave plenty of whitespace on the pages for guests to scribble a note for the graduate. Another fun option is to make your photos 20% opacity so guests can see your photos but still write their well wishes on that page. Provide a big pack of ultra fine point Sharpies in bright colors and you’ll end up with a really beautiful book full of love and support.


Collage on Canvas

Another nice party option is a canvas collage. Using many of the same images you used for the guestbook, it gives people something to look at while they’re waiting to sign. I’ve heard of some people who encourage guests to sign right on the collage.CupcakeFlagMake Desserts Even Sweeter

We put Jordyn’s favorite food, pizza, on the menu and added vanilla cupcakes for dessert. It’s so easy, and even easier to make special with photo cupcake flags. Cupcake flags are a fun way to personalize the party and provide a keepsake for guests.

ThankYouShowing Grad-itude

Jordyn’s mom and I are big sticklers for thank you notes. It’s becoming a lost art, but teaches a good lesson to young people. Her mom insists she send a personalized, handwritten thank you note to each guest that gave a gift.

Invites…check. Grad Pads…check. Check, check, check and check. Now all that’s left to do is have a great time celebrating the graduate in your life!



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